I was surprised to learn during training that when a roof support is erected, it does not ‘hold up’ all the rock seams and strata above it, through to the surface. It only supports the weight of the rock seam directly above that support. The strata of rock above the immediate rock seam, usually remains intact. That was the theory anyway in practice it was something else.

Towards the end of the course at the Technical College we all were informed about the opportunity for further study to management level. We were told that anyone interested could submit an application for interview and I decided to apply. I and two others were required to take a short written test to show an education level. I was a little apprehensive of this because I realised my education wasn’t that good.

I must have passed the initial test because I was invited for interview.

At the interview I was informed that the course entailed a day a week release from work and 2 nights a week of my own time. The course of study was to HNC level and would last four years. The qualification was to pit management. Numerous questions were asked of me but I must have given satisfactory answers because I was offered a place on the next course. This would start in about two months hence.

Before I knew it the sixteen week training course was over and I became qualified to work underground. I felt a little sorry that the training course had come to an end and having to say good-bye to my new found friends. I promised to continue meeting them in Wakefield at weekends.

I was still attending the youth club a couple of nights a week and because I took part in the many sporting activities, Boxing Swimming and Athletics etc., the youth leader asked if I would be interested in applying for an Outward Bound Course being sponsored by the Leeds City Corporation. I replied in the affirmative and he promised to make further enquiries on my behalf.

My courtship of Brenda continued.

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